Before we even start, you need to understand that as a small business, you’re already fighting an uphill battle. What this means is that there are a lot of agencies out there who belong to your own niche but have a bigger marketing budget and have a bigger, more seasoned marketing team. What you have on your side is creativity, ingenuity, and chance to adapt much quicker. New businesses and smaller ones usually have more flexibility, which makes it easier for them to adapt to growing trends. Here are several major trends that you need to be aware of in 2019.
1. Chatbots are becoming mandatory
The first thing you need to understand is the fact that chatbots are no longer an optional feature on a website. Nowadays, it’s a must-have and you would do your best to get on board with this trend as soon as possible. Assisted with deep learning and machine learning, chatbots are a force to be reckoned with. They provide immediate assistance, give satisfactory results, reduce your overhead and, on top of it, the majority of your audience won’t even know that they’re not talking to a real human. Most importantly, chatbots are incredibly cost-effective and they add quite a bit to the overall customer experience, as well as satisfaction with your customer service.
2. Personalization leads to higher customer satisfaction
Another thing you need to understand about digital marketing is that huge volume of customer data and business intelligence software may just help you achieve much greater customer satisfaction through personalization. This, nonetheless, creates a dilemma of its own sort. Namely, not all of your customers agree to cookies and even fewer of them will agree to register. Giving people a chance to buy a product without having to register may rob you of some invaluable data but will have a positive impact on your bottom line.
3. Responsiveness across all devices
Never before was there less uniformity when it comes to the ways in which people are browsing the internet. The number of desktop users is not on the decline, yet, more and more people are using laptops. There’s a greater number of tablet users than ever before, while smartphones are a predominant device for browsing the internet. Finally, more and more people are using their smart TVs to watch YouTube content and, overall, browse the internet. The only explanation for these statistics is to say that every individual uses at least several different devices for each of these tasks. For this reason, both fabulous webdesign and responsiveness across all devices are paramount, nowadays.
4. Video marketing is huge
Another thing you need to understand is the fact that there’s a huge difference in content preference when it comes to the format itself. This is why video marketing is getting bigger and bigger as a trend with each passing year. With the growth in popularity of live video, tides are turning even more in favor of this format. This, however, means that the audience, nowadays, has much higher expectations in terms of content quality. This is why outsourcing video editing services are far more common nowadays than it was in the past.
5. Instagram is on the steady rise
Instagram is one platform that has the potential to overcome Facebook as the king of social media in the nearest future. The reason behind this is the fact that it has an immense (and ever-growing) popularity amongst millennial and teen audiences. With live streaming, stories, and posts, this network provides you with so many tools to promote your brand, products and overall increase your digital footprint organically and efficiently.
6. Facebook is still huge
While we’ve already stated that Instagram is rapidly growing, you need to bear in mind that when it comes to numbers, Facebook is still incredibly dominant. It also has a wider variety of demographics present than any other platform out there. The number of its active users older than 30 is simply staggering and, coincidentally, this demographic is financially the most potent one. Most importantly, when it comes to sales, Facebook rules as the undisputed king. At the moment, Facebook boasts with about 2.27 billion active users on a monthly basis, which would, on its own, be noteworthy.
7. YouTube changes are bigger than you think
Regardless of how you decide to look at it, the truth remains that YouTube is one of the most impressive platforms out there. If you decide to look at it as a social network, you’ll find that its numbers are slightly inferior to those of Facebook. If you decide to look at it as a search engine, it’s next only to Google. This is why any changes to YouTube’s creator policies or monetization policies create effects far greater than those you might expect. Needless to say, anyone who is even remotely interested in digital marketing needs to keep a close eye on everything that’s happening in this field.
8. Shift towards even bigger content
Finally, a couple of years ago, slightly smaller content (600 to 800 words) was a Google standard, while, nowadays, posts that have 3000 words or more are getting quite common. In fact, some surveys show that wide audiences prefer these larger content formats, due to the fact that they allow them to find everything they need in one place. In other words, they’re much more encompassing and thorough resources. Naturally, this also led to an increase in average writing time per blog post, which now amounts to 3 hours and 28 minutes per post. This is about an hour longer than it was just five years ago.
In the end, you need to understand that your digital presence needs to be quite widely spread, which is why you might want to invest some effort into following all of the above-listed eight trends. Needless to say, this isn’t nearly as complex or exhausting as you may want to believe. With just a bit of strategizing and careful planning, you should be able to have it all.